How easy it can be for us to complain and argue. What might start out as small talk about the weather turns into complaints about the constant cold. A casual question such as “How is work going?” can serve as a launching pad into a series of complaints over the daily stress at the office. Even a seemingly pleasant conversation can turn into an argument so easily. One person disagrees with what the other said or doesn’t fully understand and so they respond defensively until the pleasant dialogue has become a heated argument.
“Do all things without murmuring and arguing” Philippians 2:14
That is a pretty tall order! To do everything – all the little daily tasks, annoying chores, long meetings, car repairs, etc…without murmuring, arguing, or complaining! That includes even those murmured grumbles we utter under our breath while completing a particularly unpleasant task. That includes even the little arguments over whose turn it is to take the dog out, when homework needs to be done, or which movie to watch.
Why does it matter? If I am by myself in the kitchen doing dishes and I grumble a bit, does it really hurt anyone? Or when I’m paying bills and I complain about student loans…is that really so bad? The verse continues…
“Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.”
When we complain, grumble, and argue, we are not shining the light of Christ. Those little casual complaints can become habit and allow for negativity to take over. Even if our complaints are just to ourselves, we are still surrounded by a God who hears our every word.
Can you just imagine our loving Father who gave His only Son, who has blessed us with such beauty in nature, with food, loving families, freedom, and so many more blessings we cannot even number them…can you imagine Him as He hears us still complaining despite all the wondrous things around us?
The world around us is “crooked and perverse.” But by refraining from grumbling, murmuring, complaining, arguing, and negativity in general, we are able to shine like stars!
When people look at us, do they see someone who is always grumbling about this or that, or do they see someone who is always happy? This world will always have troubles. There is no escaping that. But we are called to resist the temptation to give in to the complaints and instead to focus on the good that surrounds us. And when we are having a hard time finding the good in the situation, we need only to look to the cross and remember the all-encompassing, never-ending, love beyond compare that our God has for us.